Hercules
Height: 169.00+ ft (51.51+ m) Elevation: 7,736 ft (2,358 m) GPS Latitude: 36.23853
Volume: Creek: Bear Creek GPS Longitude: -118.68402
Width: 23.55 ft (7.18 m) Grove: Mountain Home Grove Discovery Date: 1884
Age: Park: Giant Sequoia NM Discovered By: Jesse Hoskins

Notes: Rancher Jesse Hoskins named the tree after the Roman god Hercules (also known as the Greek god Heracles, son of Zeus). In 1897, Hoskins drilled and carved a 12 ft (4 m) diameter and 9 ft (3 m) tall chamber inside the trunk and added stairs, a wooden door, and a sign. He later used the room as a store to sell redwood souvenirs made from the carving remnants. Vandals removed the door and the sign sometime later and even lit a fire inside, but the tree and the room survived.

Drive: Hercules is 232 mi (373 km) southeast of San Francisco near the city of Porterville.

Northbound: From U.S. Interstate 5 North, transfer to California State Route 99 North. From California State Route 99 North just north of Bakersfield, transfer to California State Route 65 North toward Porterville. Near Porterville, transfer to California State Route 190 East.

Southbound: From U.S. Interstate 5 South in Sacramento, transfer to U.S. Highway 50 East toward South Lake Tahoe. Drive east 1.7 mi (2.7 km) on U.S. Highway 50 and transfer to California State Highway 99 South. Near Tipton, transfer to California State Route 190 East toward Porterville.

From Porterville, drive east 17 mi (27 km) on California State Route 190 toward Springville. Just past Springfield, turn left onto Balch Park Road toward Scicon, Balch Park, and Mountain Home State Forest. Drive north 3.4 mi (5.5 km) on Balch Park Road and turn right onto Bear Creek Road toward Scicon, Balch Park, and Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. Drive east 15 mi (24 km) on Bear Creek Road, past Methuselah Group Campground, and veer right at the next fork in the road onto Summit Road toward Shake Camp Campground. Drive north 2.6 mi (4.2 mi) on Summit Road, past Oliver Twist and Summit Road trees, and veer left onto Camp Lena Road toward Centennial Stump. Drive west 0.8 mi (1.3 km) on Camp Lena Road, past Centennial Stump, to the parking spot, near 36.23835 -118.68353, on the right/west side of the road.

Navigation System Warning: Many computer, smartphone, and car navigation systems instruct you to turn left/north onto Rancheria Fire Road (a gated, narrow, and unpaved road) from Bear Creek Road to get to Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. Ignore those instructions and continue driving on Bear Creek Road instead. Those same navigation systems may also instruct you to bypass Bear Creek Road altogether and to take Balch Park Road to the northern entrance of Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. Avoid that route from Springville because it adds more than 6 mi (10 km) and 30 min of driving one-way.

Hike: From the turnout, hike northwest 160 ft (49 m) on an unnamed trail to Hercules.

Rating: Easy One-Way Distance: 160 ft (49 m) Ascent: 8 ft (2 m)
Time: 30 sec Off-Trail: 0.0 mi (0.0 km) Descent: 2 ft (1 m)
Hercules Tree Hike Map

View Hercules Tree location in Google Maps

Panoramas: Click panoramas to take a virtual tour of Hercules Tree

Photos: Pictures of Hercules Tree taken from different sides

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